Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Dogs UP or DOWN


I have been machine quilting (free form) for several years, and usually know the basics of what I'm doing. I'm in the process of quilting a large project. This morning, when I resumed free-form machine quilting from where I left off last night, I noticed I had apparently left the feed dogs in the UP position, meaning I must have been quilting last night with them in the UP position. Began wondering if the quilting could be done with dogs UP or DOWN. This machine (Janome Memory Craft 6500) just chugs along so nicely, and YES, I quilted both ways, and it works just as well with dogs down or UP. There is NO difference in stitches, front or back. My foot pressure is set a bit over 1 (I hardly ever change it). My thread is just 'regular' 100% cotton, both bobbin and spindle.

Does the use of the darning foot take over the need for dogs down?

This confuses a lot of rigid instructions, doesn't it?

15 comments:

Exuberant Color said...

You can free motion quilt either way. I have forgotten to drop mine before too and did a whole quilt. There is a little grabbing at the back of the quilt with them up and some people like that. Usually you change your stitch length to 0 if you are leaving them up so they just go up and down and don't pull toward the back with a 2.5 mm stitch length. On a small project you will notice the grabbing more than on a big one. I always gave the students the option to do it the way that felt best for them.

meggie said...

This is something I have been trying to work out, myself. I have a Janome similar to yours, & I am hopeless with free motion quilting! I must need practise! I tried nylon ivisible thread, & had to rip it all out.

shequilts said...

I have a Janome 4800 and it seems to work better with feed dogs up (I admit it could be me, not the machine).

Meggie, you need to get some polyester invisible thread rather than nylon. You won't believe the difference.

Yvonne aka sommeke said...

I have a Pfaff and he/she does it too on both ways, feeds up or down.
It's me who still needs a lot of practice!

Joyce said...

Lots of rules are just made to be broken.

Su Bee said...

Hey Elaine - I saw your post on the Yahoo Janome group and had to laugh. I went through the same thing! I have the 6500 and the 6600 and it applies to both of them - no difference in the stitch but it feels like I have a wee bit more control with the dogs up. In the end, it's whatever works for any individual person, right?

Canadian Gail said...

I have a quilting instructor who always quilts on her domestic sewing machine. She ALWAYS quilts with the dogs up - never down. She feels it gives her more control. BTW her quilting is spectular.

Finn said...

I know for sure I'm confused....LOL. I've always heard it has to be "down", but friend Betsy quilts on her Janome with them "up" go figure.
Thanks for sharing. Hugs, Finn

Sharon said...

Put me in the "confused" camp with Finn! I've never tried the free-motion with the dogs up. Hmmm. Maybe I'll have to try that.

paula, the quilter said...

I have never tried it with the dogs up. I have a Bernina. Must experiment as I have a lot of FM quilting coming up.

Pat said...

I quilt with my feed dogs up...I thought I was a rebel as I was told to always fm with feed dogs down! I started on an Elna and now I have a Brother.

Cheryl said...

I have the Janome 9000 and do a lot of machine quilting on it. I personnally prefer the feed dogs down but have also done both up and down depending what I am working on. By the way I love the Patty Thomson site you recommended a few days ago. Thanks and Happy Quilting

Carol E. said...

I have done both ways simply because I often forget to put the feed dogs down. It doesn't seem to make much of a difference either way. I have a Pfaff.

Helen Conway said...

Oh this is fabulous. I forget to drop the dogs all the and I was fearing that I was wrecking my janome 6600 but then the stitches seem fine...seems its not just me! Yesterday I went one step further, put the free motion foot on, left feed dogs up and then also forgot to alter the stitch from a zig zag - then wondered why the stitches looked different (doh!) I quite liked the result though and carried on using it.

Rose Marie said...

I have been FM with the dogs up on my simple Janome and find that the stitches and control is better for me with the dogs up. It was interesting reading the comments from everyone on how they do their FM. We learn all the time.